Over the years, I’ve watched different brands build a big number of social media followers and gain lots of clients on a consistent basis.
For example, weddings are big business in the United States. The average couple spends $26,645 on their special day.
The wedding industry is worth $53.4 billion.
One company is making its share in this industry through social media marketing: Wedding Chicks.
The business has built almost 2 million fans on Facebook and 685,000 followers on Instagram.
Wedding Chicks has a massive following on social media, thanks to content like this:
Eighty-two percent of small business owners are using social media to market their business.
It’s time for your business to be on social networks and be active.
This article will show you 21 effective social media marketing strategies you can use to grow your business faster and easier.
1. Create quality content
Your business is a big step behind if you aren’t creating high-quality content on a regular basis.
Content is what you see on social sites. Content is what you see everywhere online.
Content marketing helps a business attract and keep attention.
A lot of businesses are doing content marketing. That is why we have a lot of content out there.
To cut through the noise and make your business stand out from the crowd, you need high-quality content.
A high-quality content is engaging, easy to understand, contain a lot of visuals and easier to optimize for social sites and search engines.
A lot of businesses find it difficult to create quality content. That gives your business an opportunity to shine.
Quality content rules the social web. Simply creating a high volume of content for the sake of having something to share doesn’t work. You need quality to win.
According to a study, B2C businesses spend an average of 32% of their total marketing budget on content marketing.
Some companies invest as much as 50% of their marketing budget on content marketing.
Because they see real returns on their investments.
In fact, 75% of marketers said they are increasing their investments in content marketing.
Quality content receives high engagement, click-through rates, traffic and social shares.
2. Engage on social media
To grow your business on social media, you must get your followers to engage with you.
Engagement is the key to selling on social media.
How do you get engagement?
First, you give it.
There’s no way you’ll receive engagement on social media if you are not giving it.
There are many ways to get engagement on social media.
I’m a big fan of content curation on social media.
Here’s how it works:
When you share people’s content on social media, tag them.
The people you tag will get notifications that someone just tagged them.
The publisher may post a comment thanking you for the share. That attracts more eyeballs to your business social profile.
Another effective method of getting engagement on social media is to interact with potential customers directly.
A lot of them are currently following your competitors. Follow them. Engage with them.
When you engage with them on social media, that makes them recognize your business. Big win!
3. Improve on competitors’ past content that did well on social media
“More content is being created in 48 hours than what was produced from the beginning of time until 2003.” – Eric Schmidt
Your competitors are allocating more time, resources, and money to content marketing that ever before.
They know content marketing is essential to compete for attention on social sites.
A smart way of creating the best content is to see what have worked for competitors and produce something even better.
Let’s say I want to create content about dog food. I’ll need to find the best content that has been published on the topic.
Buzzsumo is the perfect tool I use to find the best content that has done well on social media.
I typed the keyword “dog food” into the search box at Buzzsumo.
The top two sites on the results have amassed 257.3k and 203k shares respectively on Facebook. That’s a lot.
Imagine if you can get such high engagements on Facebook, your content will be a success.
Analyze these content and produce something better. Your content will have a higher chance of success. Your business will receive a higher visibility on social media and even some press coverage.
4. Produce and share visual content
Text-based content is a vital part of social media marketing. But to really stand out on social media, you need to start producing and distributing a lot of visual content.
If you take another look at the screenshot above of the most-shared dog food content according to Buzzsumo, you’ll see that both are visual content – videos.
Your content will generate 94% more views when you add compelling visual elements to it.
The engagement you’ll receive when you add visual elements to your post is huge.
For example, Facebook photos generate higher engagement than average text posts.
5. Create content in different formats
Don’t be surprised that we are still talking about content here.
The reason is simple:
Content marketing rules in social media. There’s no other magic way to succeed in social media.
You need to understand that there’s no one type of content. Content marketing is more than just writing blog posts.
You’ll be boring your followers when blog posts are all you share on your social profiles. It’s not that all your followers like reading blog posts.
You need to create different content formats to really engage and build a lasting relationship with social fans of your business.
Here are 10 content formats you should try:
- Opinion posts (rant)
- Case studies
- Research and original data
Recently, Single Grain, a digital marketing company published a unique study where they analyzed the backlinks of Airbnb. Something like this brings diversification to the content they publish on their blog.
The post was well-received by the company’s fans on social media.
6. Create a social media plan
To make personal connections with prospects on social media, you need a plan.
A lack of social media plan hands the advantage to your competitors.
A good plan tells you what to prioritize, when to execute, and how to measure and optimize.
Sharing whatever content whenever you feel like will not help you influence consumers. But that’s what a plan does. It helps you get into the hearts of prospects.
A social media plan tells you the best time potential clients are likely to see and engage with your social updates.
7. Use hashtags sensibly
Hashtags are a powerful way to expand your business reach on social media.
A hashtag campaign increased visits to the Holy City of Jerusalem in 2016 during which Hanukkah and Christmas overlapped.
The campaign encouraged Jerusalem’s residents, tourists and people from all over the world to share photos of their holidays with the hashtag #hanukkahjlm on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
The campaign reached a total audience of 980.7k and received a total impression of 2.6m.
Organizing a hashtag campaign like this can take your business from being unknown to becoming one of the most-talked-about company nationwide.
8. Convert your popular social updates into blog posts
Sometimes, we make random posts on social media, and they went on to receive a lot of views and engagement. It indicates your fans love that topic.
By converting the update into a blog post, you have a chance of driving traffic back to your website or blog.
This random post by Rand Fishkin sparked discussion with his followers on Twitter.
If he could dig deeper into the subject, get a lot more examples, and turn it into a full blog post, his followers will appreciate it.
9. Educate, entertain, inspire, and inform on Facebook
With over 1.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a planet on its own.
Facebook users are made up of different demographics. Almost every web user has a Facebook account.
No matter what kind of product your business sells, you can tap into Facebook’s huge audience to create demand.
Whether you’re an insurance broker or agent, you can use Facebook to reach prospects. It doesn’t matter which kind of business you run, Facebook is the platform your business should be reaching potential clients.
For example, Legendary Whitetails is a family-owned business selling unique casual apparel, gifts, and gear for whitetail hunters through their catalog and website.
Their Facebook page has over 1.4 million fans. That is incredible for a small business.
Legendary Whitetails use their Facebook page to educate prospects with posts like this:
They also use their Facebook page to share posts that inspire their fans.
Once your business’s Facebook fan page has accumulated a good number of likes, it’s time to start educating, entertaining and inspiring your fans actively.
10. Take advantage of LinkedIn Publisher
If your business is B2B, LinkedIn Publisher can help you generate more referrals, leads, and sales.
For example, Fabrizio Poli is a founder of a company that buys, sells, and manages aircraft.
He publishes content on LinkedIn Publisher which helps him connects with his ideal prospects who can afford to buy private jets.
Fabrizio has gained over 72,100 followers on LinkedIn.
It’s hard for your business to struggle when you have a huge number of followers like that.
Articles posted on the LinkedIn Publisher platform are discoverable through the search option on the site.
Both your connections and followers will see your published posts on LinkedIn.
Assuming you have a good number of connections and followers on the LinkedIn platform, that means people will see your content every time you hit the “Publish” button.
Also, keep in mind that for your business to reap huge rewards on LinkedIn, you’ll have to be a consistent publisher.
11. Focus on a single social channel first
There’s a maximalist mindset in marketing these days. Small businesses want to be on every social channel.
I can see why.
There has never been any time in history when we have so much marketing channels and strategies to choose from.
Today, we have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, Medium, and even Reddit.
All these social channels are good places to drive prospects to your business site.
Business owners are spreading themselves too thin trying to be on all these social channels.
The harsh truth is that when you’re just starting out, there’s little you can achieve with your limited budget, time, and personnel.
It’s even harder when you are the only person running the business.
Look at the time most marketers spend on routine tasks alone:
Social media isn’t even the task that consumes most marketers’ time.
If you are really serious about growing your business on social media, focus on a very few social channels.
This will help you manage your time better while ensuring you are getting the best results from each social channel you invest your time and money.
12. Target your website visitors with remarketing
Here’s where social media marketing becomes even more powerful:
Remarketing allows you to create ads that target people who have visited your website.
You can run remarketing ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You now have the powerful option to market to Facebook users who have visited your website.
Remarketing allows you to target:
- Anyone who visited your website
- People who visit specific web pages of your website
- People visiting specific web pages but not others
- People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
You can create separate offers that specifically target each of these groups.
13. Organize photo contests
Photo contests keep the social world alive.
Social media users love partaking in photo contests. It’s fun and easy to take and share photos.
The popularity of smartphones and the improvement of smartphone cameras have made photo contest one of the most effective social media marketing strategies.
Here is SanDisk, a manufacturer of flash memory products running a photo contest on Facebook:
Photo contests can increase the reach and demand for your products on social media.
When running photo contests, make sure your prizes match your brand and product.
For example, a free holiday isn’t the appropriate prize if your business sells beauty products.
Everyone may want an iPad, but how many gadget hunters are potential customers for your motorcycle accessories?
You’ll agree that seems incompatible with your product.
14. Create images for Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the top social media platforms with 100 million monthly active users.
Pinterest users care about food, arts, DIY, photography and crafts. If your business is connected to those things, Pinterest is where you should be spending your time. Not only Pinterest though.
According to SimilarWeb, Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade or vintage items and supplies, receives most of its social media traffic from Pinterest.
Pinterest users care a lot about what a site like Etsy does.
If your business is in the interests of Pinterest users, you should sign up and become active on the platform.
Martha Stewart’s site which is about topics like food, DIY, and home also receives a great deal of its social traffic from Pinterest.
15. Tell a story
Stories are the focal part of social media marketing.
Marketers tend to forget the “social” part of social media marketing.
They focus only on the marketing side.
Social media is a place we connect with people and brands on a personal level.
Keep in mind that people don’t use social media to discover brands or buy products.
Storytelling is how you connect with people on social media.
Your social media updates should appear more like stories. Social media users are used to reading stories from their friends.
You should make your messages feel like one of those stories coming from a friend, not a company.
As an experiment, Refinery29 tested Facebook ads that were sequenced like stories. Overall, the experiment yielded a 56% conversion lift and an 87% rise in view-throughs. Refinery29 also saw a 7% increase in in-store purchases and a 10% increase in online purchases.
Every company has a story.
You should share your company’s story with your social media fans.
In fact, you should make your brand’s story connected to every update you share on social media.
Here are some places to get inspiration from:
- What’s happening at your company
- What you’re learning
- A look behind the scenes
Ryan Serhant, the #1 real estate agent in New York, shared a screenshot of his conversation with his mom after bungee jumping. His Instagram followers loved it.
16. Optimize social content for engagement
Just as you optimize your content for search engine optimization (SEO), you should also optimize your site for social media.
Also you can do some platform development as well
You should optimize for each platform if you are targeting more than one social platform.
Each social site has different requirements when it comes to photos and summary.
Below is an example of a blog post well-optimized for Twitter.
If you use WordPress, I recommend you install Yoast SEO plugin.
The plugin lets you optimize your content for search engines, Facebook and Twitter, which is a good thing.
You can upload a featured image with a size perfect for Facebook and upload the perfect size for Twitter too.
17. Use a social media calendar
According to Nathan Ellering of CoSchedule, a social media calendar can quadruple your traffic.
“A couple weeks ago, one of our blog posts got 31.5 times more click-throughs—a whopping 3,150% in one week—because of our social media calendar.” – Nathan Ellering
Setting up your social media calendar is easy if you’re comfortable with spreadsheets. You can use Excel or Google Sheets. Both works fine.
You can download free social media calendars at Smartsheet.
You can also create a new Google calendar if you want to share your social media calendar with everyone in your team and let them share their ideas.
A social media calendar is simply a plan of things you’ll share throughout the week.
Keep in mind that there are five reasons people share on social media:
- 84% share to support a cause.
- 78% share to stay connected to people they know.
- 69% share to feel involved in the world.
- 68% share to define themselves.
- 49% share for entertainment or to provide valuable content to others.
As you fill up your social media calendar with content, make sure each content connects with, at least, one reason people share.
18. Post on a consistent basis
Social media has changed the face of communication.
From the mailman to your grandma now has a Facebook account, and probably Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Everyone is now tagging, sharing, and liking on social media.
With the amount of time people are spending on social media every single day, it’s easy for the competition to hijack your customers.
Social media users need constant engagement. If you’re not doing that, you lose them.
19. Use a social media management tool
Tools tell you what’s working for your business, what your followers engage with and care about.
You need tools if you have multiple profiles on the same platform or you have many profiles across multiple social sites.
Tools also help you protect your business’ reputation.
For example, when a customer writes a bad review about your business on social media, social media listening tools will alert you immediately. This gives you an opportunity to respond to complaints quickly.
I use social media management tools like Hootsuite and Klout.
Also, businesses should have a right marketing platform which has a social media marketing tool integrated to publish the regular social post by scheduling to various social networks like twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. The chosen platform should capable of giving the insights of likes, shares, views etc for each post they shared in the social network.
20. A/B Test
If you’re not experimenting your marketing on social media, then you’re missing a big opportunity to grow and deepen your relationship with your fans.
To be memorable on social media, you should constantly be trying new things that haven’t been done by your competitors.
Another term for experimenting is “A/B testing.”
Through A/B testing, marketers have made huge returns on their investments.
A/B test everything you do on social media.
A/B test your headlines.
A/B test your profile.
A/B test your giveaways.
A/B test your photo contest campaigns.
A/B test the images you share.
Find what performs better with your fans and do more of that.
The key to finding the holy grail strategy that works for your business is to keep experimenting.
Also, test content you share and test your ads too.
Some ads tend to perform better than others, and you can’t know unless you test.
21. Watch your competitors
Watching your competitors indicates that you’re open to new ideas to test with your fans.
If you’re not watching your competitors and analyzing what they are doing, then you are not learning.
If a competitor is using a strategy repeatedly, it’s because it works for them. You can experiment with that strategy too, and see if it’ll work for you.
Your competitors are on social media.
If most of your direct competitors are not there, then your indirect competitors are there.
Watch what they do and try replicating their tactics.
With these 21 amazing social media marketing strategies, there’s no way you won’t grow your business.
Thanks for reading and please share this post with your followers on social media.